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 Mega Corping 
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Unread post Mega Corping
I feel we need to discuss this a bit more. This isn't about the last tournament as much as it is about how to proceed with future tournaments. It is in no way intended to insult Sultan Bey or Woodland Critters.

This reminds me of A Star Trek TNG episode "The Measure of a Man" where Starfleet JAG officer Captain Philippa Louvois has to decide if Data is declared mere property of Starfleet, or if he is a sentient being with human rights. Not willing to declare data has a "soul", she ultimately decides that "Data has the freedom to choose."

Sultan Bey wrote:
I was just reading the posts from last years tournament. I would like to cover this issue early. MegaCorping is discouraged but there is no way for me to enforce a rule banning megacorping. Please play with the integrity that would be expected in a tournament.
ok, so this is kinda like giving two teenagers a guns, and telling them it is okay to shoot each other if you want. Use your own judgment. It is still against the law, but do what you feel is right. One teenager decides to do the "right" thing and places the gun on the ground.

"MegaCorping is discouraged" and "play with the integrity" implies that MegaCorping is not allowed, but then stating MegaCorping is not banned sends a mixed message to players.

The problem is that "there is no way for me to enforce a rule banning megacorping", which is pretty close to what I told bey last year after the Christmas 2018 tournament. So how can you make a rule against MegaCorping when it is impossible to enforce?

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Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:46 am
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
I haven't played in many tournaments. But, like Micro points out: there's no-way to enforce Anti-MegaCorp's.

Whenever there are more than 2 teams, each team watches & studies the other teams, to determine which is lagging behind in development. Invariably, the weaker Corp is identified, and by contrast the strongest corp is easily identified as well. So, by the laws of Nature, the weakest Corp becomes the primary Target and is usually eliminated first.

What does this have to do with Mega-Corping? welp. The unwritten and unspoken truth of the matter is, as the 'herd' is thinned out, and the Corporation who expends resources 'taking out' the weaker Corp(s), spends more than it earns back in captured resources. The Big Fish knows this, and waits patiently. Now, whether or not there's any kind of agreement between the 'stronger' Corporation is immaterial; the results are the same, every time. So long as there are more than 2 teams in any given Tournament, Nature will take its course.

My advice is, if you do not want *any* form of Mega-Corping as a Host: Don't allow more than 2-teams; as a Player: don't play if there's more than 2-Teams in a single Game.

If by some miracle there are enough people interested in a Tournament game to warrant more than 2 Teams, then Host a playoff game with separate games running simultaneously. Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezey.


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Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:35 am
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Micro wrote:
I feel we need to discuss this a bit more. This isn't about the last tournament as much as it is about how to proceed with future tournaments. It is in no way intended to insult Sultan Bey or Woodland Critters.


I agree that it is time for a discussion on this. Many of us agree that it is impossible to enforce a ban on megacorping. How can you know for certain? It is easy to cooperate and not make it obvious, if you wanted to do so - as lone suggested, alliances can be formed to take out a stronger corp, allowing the two remaining to fight it out on more even ground. That is certainly mega corping. But at what point does it cross the line and how do you define and enforce that? Teams could also share data about base locations, probe data etc without any obvious in game evidence they are working together.

Micro wrote:
"MegaCorping is discouraged" and "play with the integrity" implies that MegaCorping is not allowed, but then stating MegaCorping is not banned sends a mixed message to players.


To use the term integrity in this conversation is unfair to all the teams who have used this tactic for years. It is also not accurate. Playing within the rules of the game does not show a lack of integrity. Mega corping is actually hard to do well - to share resources etc - there are lots of things to overcome to make it work. The framework of the game enforces certain controls and regardless of intent, you have to live within those. As long as there is no bug use, you are not "cheating" the game in any way. This is simply a strategy.

Micro wrote:
The problem is that "there is no way for me to enforce a rule banning megacorping", which is pretty close to what I told bey last year after the Christmas 2018 tournament. So how can you make a rule against MegaCorping when it is impossible to enforce?


If you say "no megacorping" in a tourney, as I suspect SK will do with ICE and others will do in the future, what you are really saying is "if you are going to megacorp, don't admit it and don't make it obvious." Is that better for the game, or is it better for this to happen out in the open where everyone can see?

I have been in tourneys - not recently, about 5-7 years ago, but in the not so long ago past - where other teams mega corped against my group. Everyone suspected it but couldn't prove it, and in at least one case, it was admitted later. If it had been in the open and known, maybe we would have formed an alliance with another group against it.

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Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:16 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Okay I know I said I wasn't going to comment anymore but ohh what the hell...

Shadow and his team did an outstanding Job of showing us how to use mega-corping in a game.

Tho they where not trying to hide it. they were many things they did that if they were trying to hide it would have thrown up red flags if you know what to look for. I know that doesn't make a lot of since(honestly it sounded better in my head) but i think as a game op. I could now spot it when I saw it. So, IMO now that ive seen it work and work well(Thanks Shadow LOL). I think that any game op could make a no mega-corping rule. and enforce it.

That being said, I know if(and more likely when) I make a rule for ICE outlawing mega-corping shadow and all most any other team leader I know would obey it. I am also not faulting Bey for this but the 'rule' banning it here was not very clear. and later he did state that it was aloud

sk

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Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:40 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
I wrote this earlier but the post never went through. This is probably a less provocative thread to post it in anyway.

One of the problems with all these sorts of discussions is that Tradewars lacks formal definitions for terms that we all use all the time. Sometimes this leads to honest misunderstandings, sometimes people deliberately hide behind the definition that suits their purpose. Such is the case with the term Mega-corp. What follows uses the definition that I would propose.

If a team chooses to DIVIDE itself into two corps to avoid the penalties that the game imposes on mixed corps, then coordinates in the game as a single unit, I would consider that a strategy. The two corps could (in theory) rejoin at the end and declare victory. Perhaps such a reunification could be a condition for claiming the win.

If a team fills two corps in order to MULTIPLY their total online ships and daily turns, that is clearly circumventing a team size limitation that is inherent in the design of practically every game I can think of (actually, I haven't thought of an exception so far). Unless the objective is to judge who can field the biggest gang, team size is every bit as important as the game start date and time.

Cooperation between teams is a natural occurrence in a game with >2 teams. We tend to define corp and team the same way, but if we are going to allow the concept of Mega-corp then that should not be the case. You should be able to have more than one corp (a Mega-corp), but not more than one team.

I have no gripe about how many corps were used, I have a gripe about how many players were used.

As for enforcement, that is almost never a consideration. Performance enhancing drugs have been banned even when detection was difficult. The ease with which a person can get out of a store with stolen goods in no way changes the law against shoplifting. We all know that using a workaround to field a team of 8 against teams of 4 is unfair. It has nothing to do with Tradewars strategy and tactics. What is shocking is the number of ridiculous, disingenuous arguments to the contrary.


Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:08 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
I find it interesting that it was removed. I played games with Cherokee and BadGirl against Spaceghost and his megacorp. It was how games were played. You put your whole team and cash mechanism behind one door and have a bunch of mean Butt blues defend and hunt. The advantage being 1/2 resources needed to defend and exp doesn't drop because the blues went hunting. Sst ships were over ports that already had blue figs in sector, and cash was passed via a lvl1 in between somewhere after.

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Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:31 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
rider2 wrote:
I find it interesting that it was removed. I played games with Cherokee and BadGirl against Spaceghost and his megacorp. It was how games were played. You put your whole team and cash mechanism behind one door and have a bunch of mean Butt blues defend and hunt. The advantage being 1/2 resources needed to defend and exp doesn't drop because the blues went hunting. Sst ships were over ports that already had blue figs in sector, and cash was passed via a lvl1 in between somewhere after.



Honestly I would have no issue with that kinda of play... as long as the total number of players was going to be even... thats my only real issue with it. You all went in out numbering us 2-1... and knew you where win because of it. I would not of cared if you had 2 on each corp or what ever.

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Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:36 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
I scour every edit for some advantage. In this one the answer was supplied in posts from last year and the extremely low rob/steal rate.

In regards to mega-corping I always enjoyed it. Bigger team, structured careful gameplay, and at least you knew who was ganging up. Playing against corps that simply don't attack each other is effectively the same thing without any forewarning.

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Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:36 am
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
rider2 wrote:
I scour every edit for some advantage. In this one the answer was supplied in posts from last year and the extremely low rob/steal rate.

In regards to mega-corping I always enjoyed it. Bigger team, structured careful gameplay, and at least you knew who was ganging up. Playing against corps that simply don't attack each other is effectively the same thing without any forewarning.


Yep, pretty close to megarob efficiency in that edit last year and gave me something to do also whacking together a RXR script.

As for the megacorps - you guys didn't hide it from all reports, so the others did have the choice to team up. I'd probably have been a bit annoyed but I'd be on the blower to the other corp(s) and be actively recruiting every person I could find online to counter act it.

However, I never feel like it's much of a victory if I have double someones turns. So to me, "megacorping" is fine as long as team sizes are the same. I mean we drop/join corps regularly in other edits such as HHT to manipulate exp etc.

There is also a place for strategy which can be called "megacorping" but it's not really. For instance taking advantage of two teams fighting and swooping in. Or deliberately attacking one enemy over the other.

Megacorping to me should be defined as a organised circumvention of the number of players allowed per team as defined in the tournament rules (not game corp). How you structure those players in corps is up to you. Circumventing would be having player who aren't officially on your team, supplying you resources or just attacking the other corp etc.

Fairly sure back in the day when we had 10+ corps we'd often have alliances to kill someone and then fight it out. Very different game then, and diplomacy was a fun aspect before it all broke down to name calling :)

Obviously hard to police any of this.. but such is life...


Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:04 am
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
There is ONE way to enforce no mega corping, tourneys need to be limited to only 2 teams of equal size.

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Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:21 am
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
If you are only expecting a few people I guess 2 corp tourneys work to enforce your view of how the game is supposed to be played. I guess we will be removing all products from planets and making sure there are no twarp photon ships as well because that has also been a source of concern.

Do what you will. It only really affects 20 or so people. The game doesn't need more rules and enforced decisions on how it should be played. It needs more players...because ultimately that's the problem, you can't field a megacorp so you want to ban it.(much like the products on planets.)

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Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:29 am
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
rider2 wrote:
If you are only expecting a few people I guess 2 corp tourneys work to enforce your view of how the game is supposed to be played. I guess we will be removing all products from planets and making sure there are no twarp photon ships as well because that has also been a source of concern.

Do what you will. It only really affects 20 or so people. The game doesn't need more rules and enforced decisions on how it should be played. It needs more players...because ultimately that's the problem, you can't field a megacorp so you want to ban it.(much like the products on planets.)



Well as I said B4 I now believe Mega-Corp can be enforced as a rule. Its going to require the game op. to keep a closer eye on the game. But as I said b4 if I made the rule every player I know would follow it. it as long as the rule was stated clearly.

But what I really disagree with what you just wrote about game settings. Part reason I play tourney's is for the challenge of over coming what the edit has. I kinda like it when a sysop throws a curve ball at us. You as a scripter can't tell me you don't enjoy coming up with a new script to overcome a setting or to take advantage of an another one.

As far as more players... That ship has sailed.. and for a lot of reasons(for which i wont go into as that's been debated to death). The game dies with our Generation of players as sad as it is its true.
I would say that there are prob less then 20 players who on a good day would take the time to play a tourney, and prob another 50 players who are causal/old-school players.

Tempers got hot over this.. On both sides of the issue. of which I am partly to blame for. Time to move on to the next game, and enjoy the game for whatever time it has left...

sk

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Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:29 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
This whole thread begs the question:

When did it become a "Integrity/Honor" issue over megacorping? As I have said earlier, when the game was popular that was how it was played.
Who decided to do away with it and why?

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Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:15 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
rider2 wrote:
This whole thread begs the question:

When did it become a "Integrity/Honor" issue over megacorping? As I have said earlier, when the game was popular that was how it was played.
Who decided to do away with it and why?


I think it's more about team sizes than anything and making it a fair game. I'm sure you've been on the end of people complaining when you bring additional players to unbalance a game and vice versa. While there was no rule (apaprantly, I haven't read them), I'm sure you guys had the discussion and knew you'd get some whinging? :)

I'll let you bring 8 players to a 4 man corp, but can I bring 4 dupes to make up the difference? I think fairness in turns is quite essential to a competitive game and that'd have to be as fair. Is there a difference with botting now to duping? Let's be honest, many of our "players" barely issue a command themselves, there just running scripts or being botted to run scripts. I know no one shares my thoughts on that one.

That being said, I think alliances in games, to destroy an enemy should be fine. However, ultimately, only one of those teams can be the winner. If you want to form an alliance with a "b side" every tournament then you'll just get a poor reputation in a small community. WHich you might be fine with others may not be.

I'm personally not that worried with what you did. However, I'd hope future tournaments make it more clear what the expectation is. I think the game would be more stale if every game was "The big game" With two teams.


Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:40 pm
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Unread post Re: Mega Corping
Hammer_2 wrote:
rider2 wrote:
Is there a difference with botting now to duping? Let's be honest, many of our "players" barely issue a command themselves, there just running scripts or being botted to run scripts. I know no one shares my thoughts on that one.


No, there isn't. Botting someone, with a well written bot (improvements over what is out there), is absolutely no different than running two players. I know of tourneys where one person has botted nearly every other player's turns on their team the entire game. How is that not a gross violation of duping rules?

Duping is also completely impossible to enforce. It is trivially easy to get a different IP and bring in someone with a different name. Probably a quarter of the community at least has the technical skills to do it, and I know that people do it on a routine basis.

For the record, we had 8 players on our team and we had 8 players at keys every single day. Yes, some of us botted each other in various situations but for the most part, everyone ran their turns. I realize that is now the exception rather than the rule.

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Last edited by Shadow on Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:43 pm
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